Disaster In Quebec

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daffy654 | 19:41 Sat 06th Jul 2013 | News
11 Answers

I hope the casualty toll is less than they are anticipating.
I have no idea why they thought it was a good idea to transport crude oil on a train with autopilot though, it seems like it was an accident waiting to happen.

Are these autopilot trains common in Canada?


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not sure if this is any better than your link, but looks bad.
Neither report mentions autopilot trains daffy - they both say the engineer had parked the train and was waiting for his relief to take over.

A driverless train carrying light crude oil has exploded in a Canadian town, forcing the evacuation of 1,000 people.

The blast sent a fireball and black smoke into the air, destroying dozens of buildings in Lac-Megantic, some 155 miles (250 km) east of Montreal.
is what the BBC link says.
References to "driverless" and "unmanned" are to indicate the driver had parked up the train and left it unattended at the time of the collision, not that the train requires no driver.

No-one was on board the train when it rolled into the town, according to the operator the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway company.

Vice president Joseph McGonigle said: "We're not sure what happened, but the engineer did everything by the book.

"He had parked the train and was waiting for his relief ... somehow, the train got released."
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The article originally said it was driverless and was autopiloted. I wouldn't have asked the question if it hadn't categorically stated that this was the case.
Whatever, the accident is horrific.
Slightly off subject, but I've always wondered how nuclear warheads are delivered up the Clyde.
Canadian safety regulations must be a lot more lax than here, in UK a trains brakes 'fail safe' in that they are locked on unless there is power to hold them off. I can only assume this train was parked on a downgrade (hill) and the brakes had not been fully applied so the train just rolled down the hill gaining speed as it went. In the UK and Europe this would have been impossible , as well as 'fail safe' brakes we have the 'dead mans handle' this is a lever in the drivers cab that has to be continuously manually held down for the train to move and the brakes to be released.
one dead, but there are over eighty people missing, according to the news this morning.

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